Snowy commute

Morning traffic moved more slowly than usual on the Beltway, as seen from the outer loop between the exits for Charles Street and I-83 on Dec. 26. A mix of snow followed by sleet and rain made for treacherous driving conditions in the Baltimore region on the day after Christmas. (Amy Davis, Baltimore Sun / December 26, 2012)

The Baltimore region awoke to an inch or two of snow Thursday morning, with more cold, blustery weather in the forecast, according to the National Weather Service.

At BWI Marshall Airport, the point of record for Baltimore, 2 inches of snow fell, more than enough to surpass last winter's total snowfall of 2 inches. This winter's snowfall stands at 3.4 inches at BWI, still well below the seasonal norm of a foot and a half.

Other reports to the weather service included 1 inch in Annapolis, 0.8 inches in Ellicott City and 0.7 inches near Pimlico. The snow was enough to cause traffic pile-ups and delay schools, even closing them in Southern Maryland where 4-5.5 inches were reported in Calvert and St. Mary's counties.

Most of the Baltimore area, except for Harford County, remained under a winter weather advisory through 11 a.m. Thursday. Driving is particularly treacherous because friction between tires and the roadway could melt the snow, but with morning temperatures in the teens and lower 20s, it could quickly refreeze.

Highs are not expected to surpass freezing for a third consecutive day Thursday, reaching the upper 20s across the region. Winds of 15-20 mph are expected, bringing wind chills of 10-15 degrees.

In Baltimore, a Code Blue alert is in effect, making additional resources available for the homeless. City senior centers are equipped to serve emergency meals and staff are prepared to dispatch a taxi to bring people in need of warmth to a center.

In Anne Arundel County, senior centers have been declared open to residents of any age who are in need of a place to warm up during the centers’ regular business hours. The centers also offer hot lunches. Harford County officials are advising the homeless and others seeking warmth to visit public libraries and malls.

Temperatures are expected in the upper 20s Friday, with about a 60 percent chance of an inch or less of snow in the afternoon and evening.

The weekend could be slightly warmer, with temperatures reaching the lower 30s, but could not rise above freezing until Monday, when a high of 40 degrees is in the forecast.

Have a weather question? E-mail me at sdance@baltsun.com or tweet to @MdWeather.